Fats Domino, the legendary New Orleans musician, would have turned 91 today (February 26). In honor of his birthday, OffBeat.com is premiering the first single from pianist and singer-songwriter Mitch Woods’ upcoming album, A Tip of the Hat to Fats.
Woods, who claims bases in both New Orleans and the San Francisco Bay Area, is including on the Fats Domino tribute album a cover of “Blue Monday.” Woods tells OffBeat.com, “‘Blue Monday’ is one of my favorite Fats Domino songs. It was originally recorded by Smiley Lewis and I recorded his version on my CD Gumbo Blues, my tribute to Smiley. Fats was an expert at expressing people’s every day feelings. ‘Blue Monday’ is something almost everyone who works hard all week looking forward to the weekend can relate to.”
The forthcoming new album was recorded live at Jazz Fest, Woods and his All Star New Orleans Rocket 88s “were able to capture its essence and get the party rollin’.” A Tip of the Hat to Fats also features material from Professor Longhair, Wynonie Harris, Jackie Brenston and Woods himself on the nine-track album. As such, it captures Woods in many elements, with sounds ranging from jump swing to boogie woogie and more. Plus, the live performance element gives it an exuberant flourish.
“I’m an entertainer, and there’s nowhere I’d rather be than at a festival playing and singing the music I love and making people happy,” Woods relates. “Onstage is where I flourish. The music I love and the songs I write in the spirit of that music do make people dance and laugh. It all comes from the era of the late 1940s through the early ’50s — a soundtrack of jump swing, blues, New Orleans music and early rock ’n’ roll, and I love to go right to the roots of it.”
Below, stream Mitch Woods’ take on Fats Domino’s “Blue Monday.”
Woods will perform at Snug Harbor on Thursday, February 28. For more information on Mitch Woods and news of the release of A Tip of the Hat to Fats, click here.